Life is unpredictable, which can be both scary and exciting. Due to this unpredictability, we might find ourselves in situations we don’t want to be in, and we might struggle to find a way out.

Take, for example, the case of Mary. Mary left the United States to move to Hong Kong because her husband got transferred. Mary was unable to relocate with her work, so she quit to be close to her husband. When she got to Hong Kong, she was overwhelmed with the sights, sounds and crowds. She wasn’t prepared for what she viewed as chaos. She soon felt her anxiety levels rise.  She wasn’t earning her own money, and she had left her family and friends behind.  She felt utterly lost.

What was it that Mary wasn’t seeing that was making her anxious? She decided to find the opportunity in the situation. She made a list of what she felt was lacking in her life and felt appreciation and abundance. Could the abundance provide opportunities where she was lacking?

Mary decided that her abundance was financial. Her husband’s company had paid for their relocation and their housing for the first month. Mary also had a visa that allowed her to work anywhere. She decided the move was an opportunity for her decisions to be her own and not determined by her friends and family. She saw it as an opportunity to work on herself, become more authentic and find work that she enjoys.

That worked out for Mary, but what if you aren’t so well off financially and you feel stuck in survival mode due to lack of finances?  Being in survival mode brings chaos to a whole other level.  People in survival mode have difficulty thriving because their fight or flight system has hijacked their executive thinking. It isn’t easy to see the bigger picture in survival mode. If you are in survival mode, what battles can you stop fighting?  For example, can you stop fighting your pride and ask someone to feed you? Can you network for a higher paying position? Can you tell yourself that you are capable and that you can handle the work?  When self-worth is low, it is difficult to put yourself out there for fear of rejection. These are the battles with yourself that can you end. Until you end these battles, you won’t thrive.

Here are some quick pointers:

1. List your fears

What are you afraid of? Is it rejection, is it failure or success?  How do these fears hold you back?

2. Where is the opportunity?

What can you see that others can’t? Is there a service that you can provide that no one has thought of?  Is there an opportunity for self-development and growth?

3. Network

It is a great idea to Network. Speak to your friends about finding work, developing a business, or providing a service. They might know someone who knows someone, or perhaps they can help you themselves.

4. What are your strengths?

Instead of focusing on your weaknesses, focus on your strengths. How can you maximise what you are good at?

5. What battles can you stop fighting?

Are you in conflict with yourself or with others? How can you de-escalate the conflict, or what battles can you retrieve from?


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Photo by Bud Helisson on Unsplash

Although I am a registered clinical psychologist with the Hong Kong Society of Counseling and Psychology, I am not a licensed psychologist or any other type of licensed therapist in the United States. The information I am providing here is educational and informational. This social media page does not provide professional advice, nor does it create a professional-client relationship or any other type of relationship between us. You should always consult your own licensed mental health professional before making any changes regarding your mental health. My goal is to educate, guide, consult, and empower you regarding your mental health journey. Always consult your licensed mental healthcare provider(s) and never disregard or delay medical advice based on information posted on this page or post.